1902 bestselling novels disappoint

1902 was not a great year for novels. Of the bestsellers for the year, few have lasting appeal.

Owen Wister’s The Virginian, the great grand-daddy of the western, has the twin distinctions of being historically significant and fun to read.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s  The Hound of the Baskervilles is a classic of print and film. The story has nothing to offer beyond story, so I won’t be upset if you watch it instead of reading it.

The best of the 1902 bestsellers is   Sir Richard Calmady by Lucas Malet.  Sir Richard is a brilliant man with disfiguring birth defect—his feet attach to his legs above the knees. The novel is flawed by a romantic sub-themes, but the depiction of reactions to disability is excruciatingly vivid. If you have time for just one novel from 1902, it should be Sir Richard Calmady.


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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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